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Message started by Rat Man on Feb 20th, 2019 at 2:23pm

Title: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Feb 20th, 2019 at 2:23pm
† † My parents were raised during The Depression.† It stayed with them their entire lives and much of it rubbed off on me.†
† † I am obsessive about wasting things.† I will use the same oil four or five times to fry food in. In the Winter I will plug my tub and keep the shower water there until it's cold so I don't waste the energy it took to heat it.† If you are in my house and you leave a room you'd better turn the light off or you'll hear about it.† I even go around other peoples' houses turning their lights off. The same with ceiling fans.† There is absolutely no reason for a fan to be running in a room with no one in it.† Or a TV. I will only throw away leftovers if they're rotten.† I never throw bones away... they're used for stock. After twenty four hours slow boiling in the crock pot the stock bones become soft so I use them as dog treats. I won't even throw the seeds away from vegetables I've cleaned. If I can't eat them myself the birds and Tree Rats can.†
† †† The only new furniture I've ever bought in my life was a kitchen table and chair set I bought about thirty five years ago which I still have.† All the rest of the furniture I've had IN MY ENTIRE LIFE has either been handed down or trash picked.
† † Speaking of trash picking, I have no qualms whatsoever about going through my neighbors' trash.† My late wife Marie was horrified when our daughter Kate started trash picking with me.† It's not something I do every week but if I notice something I can use in someone's trash I'll claim it without hesitation.
† † I won't throw the tiny ends of my bars of soap away.† I stuff them in a scrubber and use them to wash dishes with.
† † I keep my house at sixty two degrees Fahrenheit in the Winter.† In the summer the air conditioner goes no colder than seventy five.
† †† I still have my very first bicycle that I got when I was five, almost sixty years ago.† I finally had to get rid of my Suzuki Samurai after twenty six years.† It needed a rebuild and I don't have the tools or expertise to do it.† Of my remaining cars one is my late wife's, a Suzuki Grand Vitara, which is fifteen years old.† The other was left to me by my parents.† It's a twenty eight years old Ford Escort Wagon.†
† †† I hate buying clothes for myself and will only do so when my old clothes are literally falling apart.
† †† Roomie Mike and his two lovely daughters love to hold the door open and talk to people on the other side.† I have no desire to heat or cool the great outdoors so I'll tell them "That door is my wallet. As you hold it open dollar bills are flowing out and evaporating."†
† †† Running hot water down the drain for no reason will drive me insane. When Chrissie was living with me she was a chronic hot water waster.† We actually had some pretty big fights over it. "I paid for that water and the energy to heat it."
† †† I know there are a few other things that I can't recall at the moment that I will† mention later. So what do you do that's cheap as hell?
Edit:† These things individually might seem ridiculous but if you can get in the habit of being frugal all the time in a year it can amount to some real savings.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Feb 21st, 2019 at 11:25am
I was brought up by parents that were brought up by people wo lived through the Blitz. As such I have inherited a lot of the same things you have. One thing I can't stand, that actually makes me angry, is food waste. Some of the most depressing days of my life were when I was working as a dish washer in a cafe attached to a garden centre (I say cafe, but they did aa cooked English breakfast and things like soup for unch and stuf like that). One of the worst times for food waste was one time that someone set the oven to it's deep clean wash cycle instead of simply turnng it on. About 3 trays of sauages and 2 trays of bacon got doused in industrial strength oven cleaner. All in the bin. The second time was when a kid threw up near the counter with all the cakes on it. The manager decided that the kid had been sick too close and didn't want to risk it. A large double decker chocolate cake, a large carrot cake and a Victoria sponge cake went straight in the bin. I almost cried. Now with those cases the food was actually inedible (or according to the manager it was...) but it was even more aggravating when food would be left over from the breakfast or there was a few slices of cake left unsold that were maybe a teensy bit dry. Perfectly fine, good quality food and we were usually told to chuck it. Just to really rub salt in the wound, the officially policy was that if the workers wanted to have it, we had to pay for it. Food that was destined for the bin anyway. Needless to say, I didn't stay long and the general morale of people working there was in the bin along with the perfectly edible cakes...

But back to the main point of your post, I don't see anything you described as being cheap. There's a big difference between cheap and not wasteful. I don't think I'm old enough to count as an old man yet, but KID'S THESE DAYS ARE TOO WASTEFUL! AND THEY SHOULD GET OFF MY LAWN!

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by walter on Feb 21st, 2019 at 11:42am
My folks also lived through the GD. but I am not sure that is why they were so conservative. That is what I call it. "Waste not; want not" and all that. We were country people. Had our own wells. One for the house and one for the barn, yet we were very conservative with it. I was in the army when I found out some people turn on the tap and let it run while they brush their teeth!
Shutting off lights and closing doors is just common sense, but I noticed early on that a lot of people were absent the day it was passed down to us.† ;)
We also try not to drive a couple days a week, save the cleaner half sheets of paper towels to wipe down the kitchen floor and buy food in bulk.
Some people might be offended if I went around their house shutting off lights and closing doors :-? If someone did that here, I would say, Thanks :)

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Feb 21st, 2019 at 12:43pm
† † Although I have a dryer I still hang clothes on the line when ever it's possible.† Not only do I save on energy bills but line dried clothes smell much better.
† † I'm with you on the food wasting, Kick.† As children when ever we didn't clean our plates, which wasn't often, Mom would conjure up visions of STARVING ARMENIANS!!!!† At the time we didn't know who the Armenians were or why they were starving but to this day my sibs and I have visions of them burned into our brains.† Seriously, with 3/4 of the world's population malnourished or starving if anything can be considered a sin it's wasting food. It makes me angry too.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Feb 21st, 2019 at 1:05pm

walter wrote on Feb 21st, 2019 at 11:42am:
I was in the army when I found out some people turn on the tap and let it run while they brush their teeth!


This gives me anxiety. No joke. I have to step in and turn it off. Leaving taps running is just... No.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by woodssj on Feb 23rd, 2019 at 4:50pm
I'm going in to the sustainability field, and these are all things which would have a huge impact if they were adopted more widely. They save not just money for the person doing them, but a lot of resources, and allow a larger number of people to live on the same capacity grid. That last one is going to become ever more important as time goes on and the population increases.

I'll be adopting the drain-plug idea to hold the heat from shower water. That's extremely clever, and I'd never thought of it!


Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Bill Skinner on Feb 24th, 2019 at 2:16pm
I have a garden, it's on the small size compared to my mother's.  And I don't can everything as soon as it gets ripe.  I do pick it and eat it.  I used to freeze a lot of stuff from the garden until lightening hit my shed where the freezer was.

No television.  No cell phone or I Pad.  I don't get reception out here, anyways. Lights stay off.  I wear a sweater or sweatshirt in the house in the winter.  And put another blanket on the bed.  One window air conditioning unit, I use fans to circulate the air.  I do keep them on, otherwise the house turns into an oven.  The AC is only on when I'm inside, usually at night.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Feb 26th, 2019 at 10:37am

woodssj wrote on Feb 23rd, 2019 at 4:50pm:
I'll be adopting the drain-plug idea to hold the heat from shower water. That's extremely clever, and I'd never thought of it!


     An old friend told me about plugging the hot water to save energy.  At the time I thought it was eccentrically cheap, even for me. Then I thought about it. I learned in physics that it takes a lot of energy to heat water and once heated that water likes to hold on to its energy.  The more I thought about it the more sense it made.  I've been  doing it for over thirty  years. Not only does it add a small amount of heat to your home but it also humidifies the dry Winter indoor air.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Feb 28th, 2019 at 10:24am
Specific Latent Heat and Specific Heat Capacity! I picked up something at least from those high school physics lessons :D

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Dan on Mar 1st, 2019 at 6:26pm
I think it makes sense that the group of folks who make a significant hobby out of throwing rocks with a bit of string to also be on the financially hesitant side haha.

I also hardly ever buy clothes for myself and I don't think I'll ever get a new phone or laptop until they catastrophically fail. However, I will definitely pay for an adventure or something that can enable adventure. I'll spend a couple hundred on a climbing rope so my wife and I can rock climb in the desert or a plane ticket or tank of gas to experience somewhere new.

Just depends what is worth more in life to you I suppose.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by perpetualstudent on Mar 4th, 2019 at 8:55am
My Dad is an engineer and I remember lots of lectures about saving the water from baths in the winter. It's amazing how much paying the utilities changes your outlook.

Cooking the same way. The USDA has a budget for food (https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodJan2018.pdf) with "thrifty", "moderate" and "liberal" options and my family is well under what they consider "thrifty". And we eat just fine, our diet is balanced and we're all well fed (too well in my case, I need to lose about 10 pounds). We shop the sales and use the crock pot and cook from scratch. It makes a big difference.

And I think Dan is right. The point is to save money for what you actually want. But you have to take care of needs first. Younger folks tend to forget that includes saving for retirement. 

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Mar 6th, 2019 at 9:58am

perpetualstudent wrote on Mar 4th, 2019 at 8:55am:
And I think Dan is right. The point is to save money for what you actually want. But you have to take care of needs first. Younger folks tend to forget that includes saving for retirement.


One sad thing about this I think is that a lot of people aren't saving because of apathy. The 24/7 news and instant access to all the horrors in the world on the internet have made a lot of people pessimists. Why bother saving when you feel like there won't be anything to save for :(

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Mar 6th, 2019 at 10:09am
Thereís a big difference between cheap and frugal. I donít believe in being wasteful, and thatís why as I get older I find myself preferring quality over low prices if I canít have both. Iíd rather buy something nice once than keep buying the cheap one thatís going to break.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by perpetualstudent on Mar 6th, 2019 at 3:42pm
The "buy once, cry once" philosophy also the "cheap costs, again and again and again".

Frugality is an unsung virtue these days. And when you do actually buy quality? OH it can be so nice. I finally got sick enough of the pens that we've accrued over the years from I don't even know where that I bought midgrade new pens. And it's been a delight. No scribbling to see if there's anything in there, no "why are we keeping this pen if it's dead?". Just pull the pen from it's cup and write.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Mar 7th, 2019 at 2:29pm
† †One of my banks and my Radiology office give away free pens so I never buy them.† The ones from South Jersey Radiology are actually of a pretty good quality.† But I do understand about once in a while buying quality just because it's nice and it lasts.
† †I lived in the barracks almost my whole time in the army.† Every day someone would accidentally leave their soap or shampoo in the shower.† My whole time in the service I never once bought shampoo or soap.† Of course I couldn't be particular about brands but who cares if it's free.† †
   I have found or trash picked coolers that people threw away or left simply because they were trashed.  Something gross and rotten was inside and they couldn't be bothered to clean it.  I scrubbed, bleached, or what ever it took and have ended up with some pretty good coolers that way.
       I found soggy pair of boots that were in my size, muddy and soaked that someone didn't feel like cleaning and just left. I took them home, saddle soaped, dried,  and oiled them and they were as good as new. I don't remember the brand but they were pretty good boots.  I had them for years.
    It often amazes me what people throw away.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Mar 16th, 2019 at 4:45pm
  The other day I was walking one of my dogs by the local high school.  I noticed in the dumpster they had thrown away  hundreds or maybe thousands of soft pretzels.  I suppose they had become too old.  This made me angry and sick at the same time.  I can take a soft pretzel that's a little old and stale, put it in the microwave for twenty seconds, and it's as good as new.  I know they have microwaves in the school.  I pay what I consider outrageous property taxes which paid for those pretzels.  I'm sure they're just the tip of the iceberg.  If I checked those dumpsters on a regular basis I'm certain I'd find even worse waste.  I'm also certain such waste is happening all over the country. In America we're spoiled because good food is plentiful.... so much so that we waste mountains of food while a good portion of the world starves.  Bla, bla, bla... I know, another rant.  But I truly believe that we throw away enough food to feed another country the size of America. Yes, this makes me angry.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Mar 17th, 2019 at 5:15am
Two things we've started doing is using old newspapers as bags for biowaste. It's very easy to fold them into bags, you save money by not havig to buy the biowaste bags and those "biodegradable" bags aren't actually as biodegrable as they say. They're basically just bad plastic that breaks a bit quicker than a black bin bag.

The other thing which we've had for quite a while now is Dubia (Argentinian) cockroaches. If it's plant matter, they'll eat it. Old banana, pepper stems, cucumber ends, oranges that have gone bad, celerey ends, carrot ends, etc. they'll eat them all. I've actually set them up in a bioactive tub with soil, springtails, woodlice and various tiny beasties so there is no mould, no smell and the cockroaches are doing VERY well. We started with about 50-60 last year and we now have hundreds. I already had to sell some off because we had so many and I've now had to seperate off a load into a seperate tub to be sold off. So it's all well and good that they are eating the scraps but what benefit do they bring? They are basically high quality fertilizer factories. I haven't made use of their abilities quite yet (been wanting to ensure they have a strong stable population before messing around too much) but my plan is to have them helping with the vegetable patch :D

I highly recommend them as they are so easy to look after and breed faster than rabbits, the extras being readily bought up by people looking to feed their pet reptiles. Gestation is just 28 days and each female will have 20-40 babies at a time, nympths will mature in 4 to 6 months and the adults live for up to 2 years. All this means a population explosion in no time.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Mar 23rd, 2019 at 1:56am
   During the warmer months my cooking suffers a little.  I NEVER use the oven and use the stove top only when absolutely necessary.  I try to do as much cooking as possible in my microwave. Making heat in a house where I'm paying a small fortune already to stay cool irks my soul.  In my last apartment, a duplex, the lady downstairs would use her oven almost every day in the Summer while running her central air.  She was poor too... it's not like she had money to burn.  To me this is insane. 

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Apr 7th, 2019 at 4:08pm
   I reuse pieces of aluminum foil to wrap food until they're either dirty or too mangled to be of use.  I've also been known to reuse plastic storage bags that were in good shape.
    To save electricity I have just a small, dorm type refrigerator. "How can you get by with a dorm frige?"  Easy.  A lot of what many people keep in their frige doesn't need to be there.  Eggs, potatoes, bread, sweet potatoes, turnips, margarine, onions, and garlic, don't need to be refrigerated.  I'm sure there are other things I'm not thinking of right now. In that I drink just skim milk I by powdered so that also saves space. It took a little getting used to but a dorm sized refrigerator suits me just fine.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Apr 9th, 2019 at 8:25am
I save the plastic sacks the waterfowl's cracked corn and the bird seed comes in and reuse them as trash bags.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Apr 10th, 2019 at 5:04am
We've been saving every plastic bag we have for trash bags. If it can conceivably hold something without completely falling apart, we'll use it. Bread bags, plastic toilet roll bags, the bags from frozen vegetables...

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by perpetualstudent on Apr 12th, 2019 at 10:28am
One thing I learned eventually was that saving plastic bags is only worth doing if you use them. That principle actually applies to a lot. If you save and don't use, you're heading into hoarder territory. Potential value matters less than realized value. Opportunity cost also applies, a clean house has value too.

Thrift is an underrated value though this thread shows not entirely dead. We just all have to beware going too far in any direction  :)

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Apr 12th, 2019 at 10:56am

perpetualstudent wrote on Apr 12th, 2019 at 10:28am:
One thing I learned eventually was that saving plastic bags is only worth doing if you use them. That principle actually applies to a lot. If you save and don't use, you're heading into hoarder territory. Potential value matters less than realized value.


This is true. We actually picked up hundreds of plastic bags and a few of the canvas shopping bags one time from the bin shed that all the student houses use and it was obviously someone's "collection" that they dumped before they moved. We've been slowly getting through them and we still use the canvas bags for own shopping. They obviously didn't use them and just needlessly stored them.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Jauke on Apr 14th, 2019 at 2:33pm
I try to buy as much as possible from thrift stores.
Clothing, furniture, appliances. Thrift stores are my favorite shops.

I can't stand seeing cans thrown on the street or with regular trash. All metal goes to the scrap pile, where we separate it and get paid for it.

If I happen to drive by and see scrap out on the street that fits in my car I will take it. A good chunk of scrap could cover the costs of fuel for that trip.

If I happen to spot beverage containers that has a deposit on them while cycling, I will collect those too. Usually here its 10 cents for beer bottles and 25 cents for larger plastic bottles.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Apr 14th, 2019 at 3:10pm
In Finland they have a "buy back" scheme for cans and bottles, much like in other European countries. Because of this you rarely see cans and bottles as litter.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Apr 14th, 2019 at 5:41pm
   
Kick wrote on Apr 14th, 2019 at 3:10pm:
In Finland they have a "buy back" scheme for cans and bottles, much like in other European countries. Because of this you rarely see cans and bottles as litter.

   Some American states have a similar policy, predominantly in New England. Unfortunately, in my slob state of New Jersey there is no such policy. 

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Apr 14th, 2019 at 5:48pm
  Like Jauke I also buy from thrift stores and thrift supermarkets.  The one I go to the most is Save A Lot.  Their prices are about half of what you'd pay in a normal supermarket.  One of the many ways they cut costs is that they don't provide free bags.  You bring your own.  They sell a lot of off brands but the quality is good. I also like to shop at Goodwill stores and such.  They have quality used clothing, appliances, and other items at very reasonable prices.
   I like Kick's idea about folding up newspapers into bags for biowaste. I'll have to learn how to do that.
     With three dogs I am always in need of poopy bags so I do use all of the plastic bags I save.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Kick on Apr 15th, 2019 at 3:49am
This video shows a really easy method and it's really easy to learn. I can put together 50 or so bags in no time whilst listening to a podcast or just some music. It can get quite therapeutic :D The music on the video isn't quite therapeutic (to me) but it can be muted.

https://youtu.be/TDVEkkvODdQ

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by perpetualstudent on Apr 16th, 2019 at 1:37pm
At least in New York City they actually make it really hard to return the jars/bottles to get the deposit back. They try hard not to take bottles they didn't sell. Because if the bottles they sell don't get returned the stores get to pocket the deposit. If this seems bassackwards, it is! It's also exactly what I expect out NYC.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Apr 18th, 2019 at 5:05pm
   When I was a kid we had a refund on bottles here.  From what I understand the bottle and canning lobby bought some politicians and did away with it.  Now we have bottles and cans laying all over the place.

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Jauke on Apr 19th, 2019 at 6:50am
Only buy back here is on larger >1L plastic bottles and beer-sized glass bottles. It will usually say it on the label. No refunds on small plastic bottles or cans. Although most cans here are aluminium, and they're worth like 1.5 cents a pop in scrap value. Cans are everywhere though. If you're homeless you could probably collect a few hundred a day and sell them at the scrap yard, just enough to make a few bucks for daily bread. But then again, begging pays much more†

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Jun 11th, 2019 at 3:02pm
   My cheapness knows no bounds.  After four and a half years of faithful service my dishwasher broke yesterday.  Today I did the dishes by hand.  I am very anal about my dishwater.  Everything is thoroughly rinsed before going in.  I don't understand people who wash their dishes in garbage. In that I have a single sink I wash the dishes in a big pot to the side and rinse them in the sink.  Usually after one use my dishwater is still reasonably clean so I save it for the next load.  That's right, I actually save dishwater.  I'll reheat it on the stove and use it at least one more time tonight on the dinner dishes.  Does anyone else reuse dishwater? Probably not.  Also, if it's going to cost an arm and a leg to repair the dishwasher I'll probably just do without.  Washing dishes by hand is easy and I do a better job than the dishwasher anyway. 

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Jun 11th, 2019 at 5:30pm
I just dumped a smelly old couch because it smelled like a combination of wet dog and vomit. I got the couch for free and it was great for years, but when my son threw up on it, the odor never went away (and no, he didnít throw up a wet dog).  Before I put the couch in a landfill, I had to remove all of the non-smelly leather for future slings. My next 200 slings will probably be made from the same brown leather ;D

Title: Re: I Am the 947th Cheapest Person On Earth
Post by Rat Man on Jun 12th, 2019 at 7:20pm
Good use of an old couch, NOC.
On a happy note the dishwasher is fine. A breaker on an outside plug tripped. Though this should have had nothing to do with the dishwasher, it shut it down.†

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